Example PBL Units

I’m a huge advocate of Project-based learning (PBL) and have slowly been transitioning my instruction this way. As part of my studies while receiving my Masters in Teaching & Inquiry, I did a lot of research and was intrigued because it seemed like the perfect fit for my students. 


When I speak at arts conferences or lead professional development I often have teachers asking about how I run my projects or how I incorporate PBL in the classroom. It’s a fundamental shift when planning but this approach, or design cycle, really can help engage and motivate previously unreachable learners. You can read and research it, but often you have to see it in action before you really understand it’s magic. Here are some of my favorite units and lesson ideas I’ve had around projects and PBL.

21st Century Music – Publishing Original Digital Music on Spotify

Lego Rhythms – Using Legos to compose music

 Earth Day! – Creating a recycled instrument

Music Box – A Music Merch Budgeting Project

Illinois Musician Reports – Creating a class book of Musician Facts & Songs

Snow Sounds – Creating Musical Accompaniment for a Storybook

Danse Macbre’ – Shadow Puppet Theatre

Sign of the Beaver – Lit Review Board Game

Additional Projects (w/o videos)

Student Created Podcasts


Creating 8-bit music (accompanies student created video game idea)


Art Ambassadors (MS student teach ES students about global art)



Use Chrome Music Lab to compose original music





backwards designDesign thinkingFree Lessonslesson ideaproject based learningproject ideas

Frank Cademartori • November 8, 2019

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